Hans-Jörg Sigwart

Senior Thyssen Fellow
Period of Stay: 
September 2015 - June 2016
Political Science
Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Project Title: 
Political Characterology as a Method of Theorizing
Project Abstract: 

Taking up questions of method in Political Theory that are currently broadly debated, my research project examines the conception of “political characterology” as a peculiar method of political theorizing. The characterological account attempts to determine the essential structural aspects of historical, social, and political constellations by identifying the peculiar individual motivations, dispositions and strategies of action they typically imply and by articulating them in the condensed concepts of exemplary character types. The project can make an original contribution to the current debate by, first, reconstructing the rather neglected interdisciplinary intellectual history of characterological social and political theorizing, by, secondly, clarifying its conceptual focus on the complex political relation between action and structure, or between the individual and society, and by, thirdly, suggesting a systematic characterological interconnection of abstract structural with individualist and historical modes of theorizing.

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